Booker Bradshaw

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Booker T. Bradshaw
Born (1940-05-21)May 21, 1940
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Died April 1, 2003(2003-04-01) (aged 62)
Los Angeles, California

Booker T. Bradshaw (May 21, 1940[1]– April 1, 2003), born in Richmond, Virginia, was an American record producer, film and TV actor, and Motown executive.

Early life[edit]

Bradshaw worked for his father, Booker T. Bradshaw Sr., president of Virginia Mutual Life Insurance Company; a former member of the Richmond School Board and a trustee of Virginia Union and Virginia State. Bradshaw, disillusioned and working at his father's life insurance company, went on to study at Harvard to earn a degree in English. There he honed his acting skills, and met folk singer/musician Joan Baez. In 1961, while a junior at Harvard, he applied his singing talents on the The Original Amateur Hour television show with Ted Mack as a singer of folk songs, becoming a three time winner, and participated in the national finals at Madison Square Garden. He graduated from Harvard in 1962 and had learned to speak three languages. Bradshaw then went on to play at Carnegie Hall, and in the early sixties he was given a full scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England.[2]


With his Harvard degree in tow, speaking three languages, having traveled abroad to receive additional education at The Royal Academy, and now possessing extensive personal & professional credentials, the multi-talented Bradshaw went to Motown records in Detroit, Michigan and became their International Manager. He was in charge of The Supremes and The Temptations on their European tours. He ventured back to acting with John Ferald, school principal of The Royal Academy at the time, doing repertory work at Oakland University outside of Detroit.

Among his many television and movie roles, he's best remembered as Dr. M'Benga on Star Trek. This character had two memorable appearances during the original series in the 1960s. He also acted in The Mod Squad, Bracken's World, and The F.B.I. TV series and the 1973 blaxploitation film Coffy. He was also an accomplished writer and has written material for TV Shows such as Planet Of The Apes and Columbo.


Bradshaw died from a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, on April 1, 2003. Bradshaw is survived by ex-wife Mayumi Bradshaw and daughter Alaiyo Bradshaw.


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